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More Naxal-hit Bastar locals returning to mainstream

ANI | Updated: Jun 24, 2018 19:56 IST

Bastar (Chhattisgarh), [India], June 24 (ANI): Breaking their past allies with the Naxals, more tribal youths are surrendering in a hope for development in their area and to avail basic necessities including electricity, schools, roads and medical facilities.
Recently, the infrastructure growth in the state has prompted a lot of youths and local people involved with the Naxals to move away from them and come back to normal life. However, coming back to mainstream lives when the young generation of the villages is still under the influence of the Naxalites hasn't been easy for them.
"Innocent villagers are influenced by the Naxals to join their organisations. Recently, even two prominent Naxal leaders have surrendered. One of them is an LGS (Local Guerilla Squad) commander and another is a LOS (Local Organisation Squad) member carrying a reward of three lakh rupees on his head. All the former Naxalites are appealing to the people to stop supporting the extremist organisation and lead a better life," said Kondagaon SP Abhishek Pallava.
In Nirwal village of Bastar district's Kondegaon, resident Santu used to work with the left-wing extremists about six months back. According to his account, Bastar's innocent youths are lured with money to join their teams. He has left the Naxal organisation to come back and lead a normal life with his family and surrendered himself to the police. Santu recounts his experience of working as a vegetable collector for the organisation of 15 people. They even paid him Rs 40,000.
However, Santu and his family have been living under constant life threats from the Naxals.
Meanwhile, another youth, Ramu, has dished out about his decision to return to the mainstream. Ramu joined the Naxals in 2012. His work was to cook food and supply water to the team. Ramu was given a 12 bore gun which he even used when needed. His family's constant worrying about his life prompted him to leave that dangerous life behind and work with the police.
Another similar incident happened in insurgency-hit Narayanpur district's Turusmeta village when a 13-year-old Jagram joined the Naxal organisation being impressed by their lifestyle. It took Jagram 10 years to free himself from them. The Naxals educated him and made him the courier boy. But soon he was trained to use weapons. He was also involved in several police encounters. During one such encounter, Jagram was shot in his leg which was a turning point for him.
Jagram made up his mind to quit the path of violence in the wake of the infrastructure developments in the state to lead a normal life.
The former Naxals will be provided with government relief and benefits under the rehabilitation policy. (ANI)